Lions lose to Texans: 10 Observations from Thanksgiving

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

After a blowout loss, the winds of change are swirling for the Detroit Lions

In a season that has been equal parts blown leads and blowout losses, with a few last second wins sandwiched in between, the winds of change are swirling for the Detroit Lions. A 41-25 Thanksgiving loss to the Houston Texans was equal parts offensive carelessness (back-to-back-to-back first half turnovers) and defensive ineptitude (Deshaun Watson could do literally anything he felt like out there).

The Lions are playing worse and worse each week, and their 4-7 record is heavily inflated by Matthew Stafford’s late game heroics (tell me they’d be better than 1-10 without Stafford, and I’ll sell you the Ambassador Bridge). It might not happen yet this weekend, but there can be little doubt left that a total rebuild is on the way at Ford Field.

Here are my ten observations from Thanksgiving …

1. There’s nothing new to observe

It’s the exact same thing we’ve been seeing and observing all year (and pretty much for three straight years). Just a different color combination on the other side of the ball, different names and faces racking up season and career highs at Detroit’s expense, and on Thursday, a national audience to take it all in for their yearly ritual of giving thanks that they’re not us.

2. Part of me wanted this one to end 48-17

As Houston pulled away in the fourth quarter, a part of me wanted to say screw it and figured Deshaun Watson and the Texans might as well tack on one more touchdown, just for the sense of closure. Sending Matt Patricia out with a blowout loss of the exact same score he came in with would have fit perfectly and fully captured the feeling of  the team being stuck in neutral during the rare times they’re not moving backwards under his watch.

3. One positive: T.J. Hockenson has turned into a legitimately good tight end

Say what you will about drafting him 8th overall, but Hockenson is developing into a star at his position. Following a season high 89 yards on five catches, Hock now leads all NFC tight ends with 530 receiving yards and is second among that group with five touchdowns. The clock is down to its final few ticks before the inevitable rebuild, but Hockenson should remain a cornerstone of the offense for years to come, especially as Kenny Golladay’s health and contract issues remain shaky.